Man Marking - Episode 67 - Sam Hutchinson
Sometimes football makes me ill.
Sam Hutchinson signed his first professional deal with Chelsea at the age of 9. He made his premier league debut in 2007 at the age of 18 during a 1-1 draw at home to Everton. Three years later, in August 2010, Sam announced his retirement from the professional game at the age of 21. The youngster cited recurring knee injuries caused in part by a chondral defect had ultimately motivated his decision. 18 months later Sam signed a new contract with Chelsea after seeing significant improvement to his symptoms.
Despite only making a handful of appearances for his boyhood club, Sam has subsequently proceeded to forge an impressive career in the professional game. Across three spells, Sam has played a part in 8 seasons for Sheffield Wednesday, establishing himself as a fans favourite for the famous South Yorkshire side, in part down to his touch tackling, all energy approach.
But it is off the field where Sam has perhaps demonstrated his greatest strengths. Since his early retirement, preceded by years of injury turmoil, Sam has spoken candidly about the struggles he has had with his mental health. In a footballing world often beset by egos, machismo, and ultra competitiveness, Sam has been strong enough to expose the vulnerabilities that exist within all of us as human beings. His honesty and bravery has been a shining light to footballers up and down the country, that you can talk openly about your mental health, and succeed as a professional player.
In today's episode, we talk to Sam about his anxiety, depression and suicidal ideations. We also gain a greater insight into what attitudes to mental health exist within a professional dressing room, and more broadly how professional football is broaching the potentially thorny issue of player welfare. Finally, we find out if Sam would actively encourage his children to pursue a career in professional football.
This is an episode not to miss, as we speak to a current football league player, about the grim realities of professional football, often hidden from public view.
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If you have been affected by any of the themes discussed in today's episode, we have listed some organisations below who are there if you need to talk:
Samaritans Call 116 132 for free
Papyrus UK Call 0800 068 41 41
CALM ZONE 0800 58 58 58
MIND 0300 123 3393
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group 0800 059 0123